Had trouble getting hold of someone at the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) lately? Just wait until next week! The long awaited OGD move to White Oak starts next week and will stretch over at least three weeks.
As of April 11, 2014, the FDA has received and processed requests for 37 compounding pharmacies as outsourcing facilities. In October 2014, outsourcing facilities will be required to pay a fee. The fee schedule will be published in August 2014, and any facility that registers on or after fees are due will have to pay the registration fee at the time of registration.
On April 10, 2014, FDA responded to a petition from Teva Respiratory LLC approving it in part and denying it in part. Teva requested that FDA refuse to approve any rescue inhaler (generally metered dose inhalers (MDIs) of short-acting beta agonist like albuterol), brand or generic, unless it has a dose counter, and that FDA implement a plan to transition all currently approved rescue inhalers to versions incorporating a dose counter.
Six months into Fiscal Year 2014 and some staggering submission numbers should send a chill up the old OGD spine. So far, this FY OGD has received 597 new original ANDAs based on numbers released on April 11, 2014. That number reflects activity through the end of March 2014. On the other hand, OGD has approved 392 ANDAs in the first 6 months of this FY. So let’s look at the numbers a bit more closely.
OGD approved another “complex” drug product and brings a happy closure to an ANDA submitted in November 2008. By no means a record in terms of length of approval, this ANDA has been percolating for 65 months since submission and represents another in a string of complex products that OGD has tackled and approved. Thus, the first generic for Lovaza will likely hit the market soon as Teva’s ANDA # 091028 for Omega-3 – Acid Ethyl Esters gained approval on April 7, 2014.
There are a number of dilemmas looming over generic drug firms in 2014 – some with no easy answers, but hopefully firms are considering their choices sooner rather than later. Two of these issues relate to the all-important question “Exactly when should the ANDA be submitted?”. Any generic drug firm knows that that answer is never easy and is dependent on many factors, such as biostudy success, completion of stability testing, facilities being ready for inspection and first-to-file opportunities, just to name a few. And of course, such practical scientific or regulatory deadlines are further complicated by the directed business goal of “the sooner the better”.
In trying to read the tea leaves at the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) and discussing issues that really worry both OGD and industry, I have come across two issues that you need to stay on top of, one during the approval process and the other just after ANDA approval, to avoid a potential delay in approval that you did not see coming or a potential change in the way OGD does business relative to ANDAs subject to the valuable 180-day exclusivity provisions of the Act.
At the outset of the generic drug scandal uncovered in the late 1980’s FDA developed an administrative Application Integrity Policy. At or about the same time, legislation (the Generic Drug Enforcement Act [GDEA] of 1992), provided for debarment of individuals convicted of certain misdemeanor or felony offenses. During the generic drug scandal, there were 22 criminal convictions of drug companies and 70 convictions of industry and FDA personnel as well as $50 million in fines levied against these organizations and individuals. Eventually there were some 70 individual debarment actions relating to the shenanigans that occurred but to date no firm has been debarred under the provisions of the GDEA. I thought it might be interesting to see what the number of debarments looked like over the last few years.
The FDA has stepped up its surveillance of compounding pharmacies and has issued at least 5 Warning Letters to such establishment so far this year. The beat goes on, and now the FDA must begin to integrate with the State Boards of Pharmacy and State Drug Inspectors to determine the evolving definition of what is a compounding pharmacy and what is an “outsourcing” compounding pharmacy.
The FDA advised consumers not to purchase or use Vitaccino Coffee, a product promoted and sold for weight loss and sold on various websites and in some retail stores. Why?-because it contains sibutramine, a weight loss drug that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons.